Bruce Jenner Fatal Car Crash Will Have Long-lasting Effects on Survivors

Bruce Jenner's fatal car crash has been all over the news for days, but its devastating effects will last long after it fades from the headlines. Jenner was driving a black Cadillac Escalade when he slammed into a Lexus that had already rear-ended a Prius. The chain reaction crash turned deadly when the impact propelled the Lexus, which had its wheels turned, into the path of an oncoming Hummer. The Lexus driver, 69-year-old Kim Howe, died when the Hummer hit her car, and five other people were hurt.

Piecing Together the Puzzle

Police continue to investigate the accident, but they already know that Jenner tried to stop to avoid hitting the car. He called the accident a "devastating tragedy," saying via his publicist, "My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones, and to all of those who were involved or injured in this terrible accident. It is a devastating tragedy and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them. I will continue to cooperate in every way possible."

Obviously, Howe's family and friends will have a hard time coping with the tragedy. Their grief is likely to be compounded by reports that Howe was driving without a valid driver's license, and had not had one since 2007.

Any time a loved one dies, and particularly when it happens in a violent and unexpected manner, the survivors need to work through their grief. Given Howe's age, family members and friends in the same age bracket face an additional challenge because bereavement can weaken an older person's immune system.

Get Help for Grieving

Jenner makes an easy target for blame because he's a high profile figure who's been in the headlines lately and was even being followed by the paparazzi at the time of the accident. Anger is one of the normal stages of grief, and survivors typically look for someone to blame in an effort to make sense out the tragedy. No matter who was at fault, grief counseling is an excellent way for those left behind to work through their feelings.

If you're working through your own loss and you don't want professional counseling, you can find grief support groups in person and online through organizations like GriefShare.org and DailyStrength.org.